Engineering & Mining Journal

APR 2018

Engineering and Mining Journal - Whether the market is copper, gold, nickel, iron ore, lead/zinc, PGM, diamonds or other commodities, E&MJ takes the lead in projecting trends, following development and reporting on the most efficient operating pr

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MOTORS AND DRIVES 64 E&MJ • APRIL 2018 www.e-mj.com The dictionary defines the word ubiquitous as "being everywhere; constantly encoun- tered," and in the mining industry, noth- ing comes closer to that definition than electric motors and their associated drives and couplings. Powering everything from SAG mills to samplers, motors literally keep mine sites humming on a more-or- less continuous basis. Challenged by the needs and expec- tations of mining customers, motor-tech- nology purveyors are highly motivated to find ways to move the needle farther toward the "more" end of the dial, and not just in terms of performance — de- mand, too, is steadily increasing. In fact, the market for motors has expanded at a healthy 7.4% clip since 2009, according to IMARC Group, with the global market valued at $93.2 billion in 2017. Indus- trial-sector sales account for 60% of that market, and those figures don't include the electronic-drive controllers and power transmission equipment such as couplers and gearboxes that typically are part of many medium- to high-horsepower mine motor installations. A recent equipment order for an un- derground mine project in Mongolia illus- trates the expanding scope of motor-relat- ed equipment orders that are becoming more common throughout the industry. Siemens announced it will supply engi- neering, design, production, and supply of electrical equipment for underground and surface conveyor systems at the Rio Tinto-managed Oyu Tolgoi copper mine. The conveyors will be powered by gear- less and conventional drives from thys- senkrupp Industrial Solutions, and are expected to bring 95,000 metric tons per day (mt/d) of copper ore to the surface, traveling a route that includes a differ- ence in height of almost 1,400 m. The order value, according to Siemens, is in the "tens of millions of Euros." The transport system consists of a total of nine conveyors — seven underground and two at surface. Four of these convey- or belts have a gearless design, each with two 5.5-megawatt drive systems. Siemens is supplying thyssenkrupp with 8DA10 (gas-insulated) and NX-AIR (air-insulated) medium-voltage switchgear, transformers, low-voltage energy distribution, Sinamics SL 150 and Sinamics S150 frequency converters as well as low-speed synchro- nous motors with a nominal power of 5.5 megawatts and smaller squirrel cage in- duction motors. The delivery also includes pre-assembled E-Houses for installing the equipment as well as power factor correc- tion and harmonic filtering equipment. Higher Equipment IQ In tune with the needs of an industry increasingly interested in exploiting IoT opportunities, data analysis schemes and higher levels of machine automa- tion, along with energy conservation and reduced maintenance/operations costs, recent product improvements have been mainly focused on making electric motors and their accessories smarter, stronger and more versatile. Major motor suppliers, such as Baldor (recently rebranded as ABB), Nidec, Regal Beloit, Teco-Westinghouse, Toshiba and others, offer a variety of standard mine-du- ty motor models that typically include high-, medium- and low-voltage versions, robust frames, extreme temperature per- formance capabilities, high IP ratings and enhanced lubrication features. Several Maximizing Motor Skills Miners are moving toward 'intelligent mining,' 'the connected mine,' and IoT. Electric motor suppliers are intent upon expanding their market. Consequently, motors, drives and couplings are getting smarter — and easier to install, control and monitor. By Russell A. Carter, Contributing Editor New-generation motor lines, such as the Siemens HV unit shown here, offer a variety of configurations and features. For example, HV M models can be specified with cooling setups such as air-air and air-water heat exchangers, open-circuit, through ventilation, rib cooling, pipe cooling and water-jacket cooling. They can provide fixed- and variable-speed operation and motor solutions for drive systems with and without gearboxes.

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